Oklahoma House reconsiders, passes charitable raffle bill

Thursday, April 24th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- The Oklahoma House Thursday reconsidered and passed a bill allowing churches, schools, fire and police departments and other groups to conduct fund-raising raffles.

Supporters say raffles help nonprofit groups raise money and that it isn't right for school groups and other organizations to face felony charges for conducting fund-raising raffles.

Charitable raffles were common in Oklahoma until 1998 when senior Assistant Attorney General Neal Leader said raffles are illegal lotteries if tickets are sold and prizes are awarded based on chance.

Opponents of the measure say it would expand gambling in Oklahoma.

The bill passed the House on a 51-to-46 vote and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The measure is Senate Bill 837.